Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Amnesty International says at least 58 killed in Addis Ababa violence

Read more

FOCUS

Austria restricts immigration and hampers integration

Read more

PERSPECTIVE

Historian Joan Scott: 'Hardline secularism is as bad as hardline Islam'

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Shaking up the workplace: How employers face the challenge of automation

Read more

FOCUS

Even in Kenya, exiled Burundians fear for their lives

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Alibaba founder rolls back on pledge to create 1m US jobs

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Controversial or creative? Chef gets lobsters high before boiling them so they don't suffer

Read more

THE DEBATE

Breakthrough in Pyongyang? Kim promises to visit Seoul, dismantle nuclear sites

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Rapper I-NZ's 'This is Iraq': When music gets political

Read more

Europe

Police probe murder of Slovak investigative journalist shot dead alongside fiancée

© Vladimir Simicek, AFP | A man lights a candle in front of the Aktuality newsroom, the employer of the murdered investigative journalist Jan Kuciak, on February 26, 2018 in Bratislava.

Video by Robert SUTTON-MATTOCKS

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2018-02-27

Police in Slovakia launched a murder probe Monday after a leading journalist who investigated high-profile tax fraud was found shot dead along with his fiancee, sending shock waves through the small eurozone state.

The body of Jan Kuciak, a 27-year-old reporter for the aktuality.sk news portal owned by Axel Springer and Ringier, was discovered alongside that of Martina Kusnirova at their home in Velka Maca, 65 kilometres (40 miles) east of the Slovak capital Bratislava.

Police commander Tibor Gaspar told reporters the motive was “most likely related to the investigative work of the journalist.”

Kuciak died from a gunshot wound to the chest while his partner was shot in the head, Gaspar said.

Leftist Prime Minister Robert Fico said his government was offering one million euros ($1.2 million) for information leading to the killers’ capture.

“If the death of investigative reporter Jan Kuciak proves to be linked to his journalism, it would be an unprecedented attack on freedom of the press and democracy in Slovakia,” Fico said.

‘Warning’

Police discovered the bodies Sunday after family members failed to reach the pair for several days.

Police reportedly found ammunition arranged around the bodies with the Pravda daily describing the scene as a “warning”.

Tom Nicholson, a Bratislava-based journalist, told media that Kuciak had been working on a story about an Italian mafia scam based in eastern Slovakia defrauding EU structural funds.

The murder was condemned by European Parliament chief Antonio Tajani, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker and international organisations.

>> Flashback: Murder of Panama Papers journalist highlights risks for European press

Slamming the “cowardly act”, Juncker said that “the killing or intimidation of journalists have no place in Europe, no place in any democracy,” according to a tweet by commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas.

“The EU cannot accept that a journalist is killed for doing his job,” Tajani wrote on Twitter.

Threats

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) also condemned the attack, saying Kuciak and his family had recently been threatened, and noting he was the fifth journalist to be killed in the EU in a decade.

“We demand an investigation to shed light on the exact circumstances of this case, especially since Jan Kuciak and his relatives received threats in recent months,” said a statement from Pauline Ades-Mevel, who heads RSF’s EU-Balkans office.

Slovakia is ranked 17th in the 2017 RSF global press freedom rankings, down five places on the previous year.

Kuciak’s reporting focused mainly on allegations of tax evasion and fraud concerning high-ranking officials and tycoons.

The last story he wrote was about businessman Marian Kocner, known for real estate deals.

Last year, the National Criminal Agency (NAKA) dropped an investigation into alleged tax fraud by Kocner, who had supposedly applied for tax refunds totalling 8.19 million euros ($10 million).

Known for threatening journalists, Kocner vowed last year to set up a website publishing information on reporters’ private lives, according to the leading SME daily.

(AFP)

Date created : 2018-02-27

  • FRANCE

    Charlie Hebdo's neighbours debate free speech three years after attack

    Read more

  • WORLD

    Reporters Without Borders tallies 65 journalists killed worldwide in 2017

    Read more

  • MALTA

    Three charged in car bomb murder of Maltese journalist Caruana Galizia

    Read more

COMMENT(S)